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Market Wrap-Up for Nov.19 (AAPL, LOW, INTC, MO, BAC, PETM, more)

As the world scrambles to stockpile their Twinkies supplies amid the Hostess bankruptcy and attempts to find the Apple (AAPL) share price bottom, smart investors are examining their portfolios and deciding on what names they will want to hold going forward — and which ones may have seen their best days now that 2013 is almost upon us.

Fortunately for Apple shares (gaining 7% on the day), Barron’s decided to run a cover story on why they may come out ahead in its battle vs. rival device maker Samsung. How about that for timing a bullish Apple post! That said, the breakdown in Apple shares should give investors a bit of pause as they consider any other name in the momentum trader’s universe. Today’s rally is just what many traders need to see as they have been praying for a rebound of some sort to get anywhere near back to even. The media’s trading focus frenzy has likely lured a number of those admiring big stock moves in the Apples, Googles, and Amazons of the world just in time to see a correction no one was forecasting. For long-term investors like us, this time of year is always good to examine our portfolios to see what we want to hold into next year.

Looking at the action elsewhere today, Lowe’s (LOW) was higher following their earnings release. Home Depot (HD) shares were also up, as they are coming off their earnings announcement from the week before. Intel (INTC) shares were up just slightly as news the company’s CEO Paul Otellini announced his retirement to come in May of 2013, following 8 years at the top of the semiconductor giant. His leaving comes at a tough time for the company, as they try and adapt to a declining PC market (the stock is also at 15-year lows). Elsewhere, positive Wall Street commentary helped move shares like Altria Group (MO), PetSmart (PETM), and Bank of America (BAC) higher.

Pitching Against Time

It’s been years since I watched the movie “For the Love of The Game,” starring Kevin Costner as a pro baseball pitcher coming toward the end of his career. In the film, Costner reminisces about his personal life everything he accomplished in the big leagues. At one point in the movie, legendary baseball announcer Vin Scully utters these famous lines:

“He’s pitching against time. He’s pitching against the future, against age, and even when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer.”

In many ways Mr. Scully can be describing any one of us as we are looking at holding off “father time” in our own lives. All too often, we believe time is on our side, but when it comes to your odds of success, the clock is ticking and every minute you ponder and squander your time to take action, the eventuality is that most will simply run out of time. This concept applies not just to buying dividend stocks, but also to any issue holding you back, be it financially, professionally, or personally.

On the other hand, we don’t want to forget what it is we are doing and for what reason (legacy, pride, etc.). Not to play too much of a spoiler for those who haven’t seen the movie, but there is a moment where Kevin Costner is alone in his hotel room following a spectacular feat he had just accomplished and he sat there looking around, seeing no one there in his immediate life to share it with (he was a bachelor for all his playing years and could not commit to the one person who he really loved and loved him). Costner just broke down crying hysterically at that moment, realizing that his professional success meant very little without any personal joy.

Maybe we’ve never experienced something so dramatic, but if you look at the faces around you and see the thought process going a mile a minute in peoples’ eyes whether they are sitting on a bus/train going across town, on a plane traveling to their next business meeting, or simply sitting in a car as traffic snarls up, they are contemplating where they are in their lives. We are human beings and we tend to think a lot. It’s a good thing, but remember time is ticking. So whatever needs to be done, now is a better time than any other.

I hope everyone had a chance to check out our Premium members-only weekend articles , including new features that highlight some of the biggest winners and losers from the week that was, such as analyst upgrades/downgrades and earnings/story stocks. These articles are a great way to catch up on the week that was in the markets. We also have a rundown of how various Dividend ETFs performed on the week.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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